A Lost (and Found) John Coltrane Recording, and More New Songs

The strongest live recordings John Coltrane ever made — the ones that seem to capture his locomotive, shape-shifting powers at full speed, totally unbridled — come from his lengthy run at the Village Vanguard in fall 1961. At that point he had moved away from writing in complex, Fibonacci-like patterns of harmony; studying spiritual music, especially from India and Africa, he’d redoubled his commitment to structural simplicity. In short order, he would assemble the lineup that we now know as his classic quartet. On those Vanguard recordings you can hear it all happening: He’s moving fast, unburdening himself of the past, trying out new lineups and reworking his repertoire in real time.

But this was a process that had been ongoing. There is always a back story. And this week, Impulse! Records announced that in July it will release an album of newly unearthed recordings that Coltrane made at the Village Gate, just around the corner from the Vanguard, two months before that run.

There are a few big headlines here. For one thing, the album includes the only known live capture of Coltrane performing his composition “Africa.” But the big attraction is that Eric Dolphy — the visionary multi-reedist who played a key part in Coltrane’s musical development, and stars in those Vanguard tapes — plays almost as prominent a role here as the bandleader. On the album’s lead single, a 10-minute version of Coltrane’s “Impressions,” Dolphy’s bass clarinet doubles with McCoy Tyner’s piano as Coltrane plays the “Pavanne”-inspired melody, then both horn players turn in spiraling, fuming solos, drawing smoke out of the song’s simple form. The drummer Elvin Jones and the bassist Reggie Workman charge ahead so intensely, they barely even have time to swing. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

The Mexican songwriter Peso Pluma continues his push toward global audiences in a collaboration with Bizarrap, the hitmaking Argentine electronic-music producer. He sings about being spurned, drunk, rebounding and flaunting his blingy Patek Phillipe watch as Bizarrap quantizes regional Mexican acoustic sounds — the syncopated chords and trombone of a brass band, the slapping bass lines of a bajo sexto, solos on high-strung Mexican guitars — into a computerized track. It sounds like there’s some Auto-Tune added to Peso Pluma’s growl, too. Near the end, Bizarrap plays a few EDM synthesizer chords that suggest club tracks are only a remix away. JON PARELES

Here’s a cowbell-driven critique of a dystopian social-media dynamic, from the soundtrack of the new HBO show “The Idol.” Over a sleekly minimal funk track, the Weeknd sings, “Kill anyone to be popular/Sell her soul to be popular.” He enlisted the ultimate celebrity-savvy pop star, Madonna, to pop in with backups: “Spent my whole life running from your flashing lights,” she claims. “You can’t take my soul.” It’s not everyone’s predicament, but the Weeknd bets listeners care about it. PARELES

Ty Dolla Sign finds a new groove on the breezy, house-inflected single “Motion,” which is driven by a looped piano and an insistent beat. “Something takes over when we dancin’,” he croons nimbly on the summer-ready track, which was produced by Will Larsen and Stryv. “Bodies around us caught up in the wave.” LINDSAY ZOLADZ

“Hard to Be a Human” is from Bettye LaVette’s next album, “LaVette!,” due June 16; it’s a set of songs by Randall Bramblett. LaVette sings about humankind as a flawed creation — “You gotta stop and wonder/Baby, why were you born?”— over a sputtering, tumbling Afrobeat groove, anchored like Fela’s music by a burly baritone saxophone. Every rasp and break in her voice sounds like one more obstacle overcome. PARELES

High Pulp, a Los Angeles collective with Seattle origins, blurs jazz, funk, math rock and indie rock. Its third album is “Days in the Desert,” due July 28. For “Dirtmouth,” a musicianly, meter-shifting fusion piece, it enlisted the saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, who bursts into its minimalistic cycles with breath and gusto: a leaping, sprinting, stop-start human presence roiling the systematic composition. PARELES

The Canadian songwriter Hannah Georgas digs into her own insecurity to fight against it, pushing herself to confront someone who can “insult me so casually.” She doesn’t want a rupture; as the production ascends from a modest folk-rock strum to a big harmony chorus, she only hopes honesty will clear the air, so “I can love you better.” PARELES

“I can feel the little things adding up, the little crumbs I hate cleaning up,” the Chicago singer-songwriter Claud murmurs on this tender, muted acoustic tune from “Supermodels,” due in July. The sweetly shrugging register brings Clairo to mind, as Claud, who uses they/them pronouns, stacks vivid, accumulating snapshots of a relationship in stasis. In the end, though, they sing with a resigned sigh, “I will for you, I will for you, whatever you want.” ZOLADZ

Most of the songs the jazz-loving Mexican songwriter Silvana Estrada released in 2022 — on the album “Marchita” and the EP “Abrazo” — were sparse and pensive. “Milagro y Desastre” (“Miracle and Disaster”) begins in the same spirit, with plain keyboard chords and the possibility that “No one is going to save themselves.” But midway through, she finds companionship. She decides to stay with someone until morning; she’s joined by a growing string ensemble and bolstered by a traditional beat and vocal harmonies. As she repeats the title, she sounds content, and ready, to face down miracles or disasters. PARELES

The guitarists Steve Gunn and Bill Nace and the drummer John Truscinski, improvisers whose paths have overlapped in various ensembles, have made a trio instrumental album, “Glass Band,” that’s due in July. It includes “On Lamp,” an undulating, not-quite-ambient piece that threads a wandering, slow-motion melody through a stereo dialogue of acoustic guitars and subdued tom-tom syncopations, like a glimpse of a distant caravan. PARELES

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